Friday, August 7, 2015

San Juan Huts: Telluride to Moab Day 6

Gateway Hut to La Sal Hut

My hut mates, Debbie and Jason, decided to end their ride today. They've never been to Moab and wanted fresh legs for the single track there. Good decision because today would be a real butt kicker. Only 22 miles but I would be riding at a starting elevation of 4560 ft and ending at 8055 ft. Where the route description said "only choice, up, up, and up", I didn't realize it meant a very steep "up". Makes sense though. For the past few days, I'd been looking at the La Sal mountains, getting closer. And, yet, I guess I kidded myself about the fact that I would have to ride over them to get to Moab.

Well, 8 miles of tough climbing with lots of walking. Up until this part, the physical was challenging but nothing as difficult as finishing an Ironman triathlon. This came close. After reaching a plateau with more climbing but at an easier incline, the rain started. I'd been lucky so far in avoiding the sprinkles but I suppose it wouldn't be a real adventure without a little more adversity. So, black clouds, thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. I hid under some trees only because the San Juan hut people spooked me about the lightning. And flash flooding. Growing up in California, weather is pretty boring so I tend not to take it seriously. But with my hut mates gone, I wasn't sure who would find me if I was weather stupid.
After awhile, I got bored and ventured out again, in the rain, looking over my shoulder when I heard thunder. As if I would be able to duck out of the way of lightning. But I made it. Dried out at the hut, found myself missing my hut mates,but happy to know I'd be in Moab the next day.

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